Investing in the forex exchange involves trading one currency for another. In its current form, the practice is relatively new, but it has nonetheless become the largest market worldwide. Trading currencies is done in pairings, of which there are hundreds. The GBP/USD is, at the time of writing, the third most traded pair.
The vast majority of retail trading is done through online forex brokers, as it is exceptionally difficult for retail investors to take part in this market otherwise. This has led to a demand for web-based brokers, and investors now have a vast number of online forex trading websites to choose from.
How GBP/USD Trading Works for Traders and Brokers
Trading the GBP/USD, or, as it is known within investor circles, trading the cable, is popular and involves one of the most traded currency pairings. The instrument is traded in lots, which are several in size, and they denote that the following unit count will be traded:
- Standard – 100,000 units
- Mini – 10,000 units
- Micro – 1,000 units
The cable is one of the major USD pairs where the dollar does not have the role of the base currency, but is instead the quoted currency. This is attributed to the fact that the GBP has remained the stronger of the pair, although its value has diminished in recent years.
The time at which relevant financial information is disclosed is one of the key factors investors should focus on when trading this pairing. For instance, seasoned traders will know that UK financial data tends to come out between 2 am and 4:30 am UTC-4. As for US data, it is released between 8:30 am and 10 am UTC-4.
If a trader lives outside of the US, it is important to convert this information to the relevant time zone in order to avoid confusion. The following table showcases the time of financial data disclosure within several time zones:
|Data Release||UTC-4 (Eastern US)||GMT+1 (UK)||GMT+9 (Japan)|
|UK Data Release||between 2 am and 4:30 am||between 7 am and 9:30 am||between 3 pm and 5:30 pm|
|US Data Release||between 8:30 am and 10 am||between 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm||between 9:30 pm and 11 pm|
Apart from data releases, major geopolitical and socio-economic events within the UK, US and the world, in general, can also play a significant role. For instance, Brexit had a strong negative effect on the British pound, and volatility can also increase rapidly in such circumstances.
Top GBP/USD Trading Brokers
The cable is the first choice of many investors when it comes to trading in the foreign exchange market. It features two of the most traded currencies globally, the British pound and the United States dollar.
As such, no online broker will neglect to allow its users to invest in this instrument, making the choice of brokers GBP/USD traders could go for quite large. If you are struggling with picking between the various options available, you can use the brokers listed below as a point of reference that will aid you in finding the broker that is best for your trading needs.
- 1. AvaTradeMin Deposit$100Fees
- No deposit or withdrawal fees
- Inactivity fees - $50 per quarter after 3 months of inactivity
- Additional $100 annually after 1 year of inactivity
Leverage EU30:1Leverage non-EU
- Retail: 1.5
- Pro: 0.9
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Retail - 30:1
- Pro - 400:1
AvaTrade’s team has made sure that any aspiring investor will have the option to learn all about trading from AvaTrade’s very own educational resources, of which there is an impressive amount. The website’s section dedicated to education is quite impressive, with numerous video tutorials covering topics such as the basics of forex trading and how to use AvaTrade’s platforms. Articles regarding trading strategies and aspects of forex trading are also abundant. Additionally, there are written publications dedicated to copy trading.
A glossary is available under Market Terms as well. You will also come across a blog section with informative articles that cover a variety of topics.
The website features a variety of platforms. MetaTrader 4 and 5 are available for those who prefer using them, while others can take advantage of AvaTrade’s own proprietary Web Trader platform and the AvaTrade smartphone application. A platform specifically created for options is also offered, although the minimum deposit there is $1000 as opposed to the typical $100. In addition, there is a professional account available for traders who qualify.
Regardless of which platform you go for, you will have many currency pairings to pick from, of which GBP/USD is a popular choice. The typical spread and leverage will vary depending on your account. The spread is 1.5 for retail investors, and the leverage cannot exceed 30:1. Traders who have a pro account can enjoy a spread of 0.9, and the leverage they can work with has a 400:1 limit, provided they do not reside within the EU.
- Min Deposit$0FeesNo deposit or withdrawal fees.Commissions$2.25 per lot per trade if the user has a Zero accountSpread
- Zero account: 0 minimum, 0.1 on average
- Classic account: 0.8 pips
- Retail: 30:1
- Pro: 500:1
All financial products involve risk and you should ensure you understand the risk involved as certain financial products may not be suitable for everyone. Trading in margin foreign exchange and derivatives carries a high level of risk and you may incur a loss that is far greater than the amount you invested. Past performance of any product described on this website is not a reliable indication of future performance. Any information or advice contained on this website is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information or advice on this website, you should consider the appropriateness of it (And any relevant product) having regard to your circumstances and we recommend that you seek independent financial advice if necessary.
- Retail: 30:1
- Pro: 500:1
Fusion Markets is a broker popular among forex investors, as it specialises in the foreign exchange. The website offers over 90 currency pairings, including the major pairing GBP/USD, and its catalogue includes CFDs as well.
The website’s platform is MetaTrader 4, which has a lot to offer in terms of trading data and charting tools. There is also an economic calendar with convenient filtering options, among other useful features. Users who have a Zero account can enjoy a GBP/USD spread between 0 pips and around 0.1 pips, and there is a $2.25 commission per lot per trade. The minimum spread for Classic users, on the other hand, is 0.8 pips.
The website is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission. The broker also operates within the ASIC region, and clients who trade within the region in question are provided with negative balance protection.
Customer support is available 24/5, and there are several methods that will allow you to get in touch with a representative from Fusion Markets. Live chat and email are the first available options, while those who prefer traditional means of communication could choose to call a Fusion Markets representative instead.
- 3. eToroMin Deposit
- Between $10 and $10,000 depending on residence
- The typical min deposit is $50
- The minimum one can deposit via bank transfer is $500
CommissionsN/ASpread2 pipsLeverage EU30:1Leverage non-EU400:1CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- $5 withdrawal fee
- $10 inactivity fee after 1 year of inactivity
eToro is a broker that was launched in 2007, and it is most famous for its excellent copy trading tools. CopyTrader, its social trading feature, allows you to view the performance of any potential investors you wish to copy, and you will also see their risk score. An investor’s profile will show their average holding time, their news feed comments, and a lot of other relevant information.
The typical spread of the GBP/USD is 2 pips, while the leverage is 30:1 in Europe, as is required by ESMA. The spreads of investors living outside of the EEA can go all the way up to 400:1.
In terms of fees, what is notable is the broker’s $5 withdrawal fee, as well as the $10 inactivity fee you will be charged on a monthly basis if you have been inactive for one year. The deposit minimum you must adhere to varies. The amount ranges from $10 to $10,000, depending on where you reside. The typical min deposit is $50 for most locations unless you use bank transfer. For this type of transaction, you need to deposit at least $500.
In terms of the user experience, eToro’s platform is intuitive and available both as a web platform and a mobile application that can be installed on smart devices. It is secure as well, seeing as two-factor authentication is available, and eToro is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC.
- 4. IronFXMin DepositN/AFees
- Depositing is free
- 3% “no trading” fee is imposed when you have deposited and requested a withdrawal without having ever traded
SpreadBetween 0.8 and 1.3 pipsLeverage EU30:1Leverage non-EUUp to 1000:1CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73.55% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Standard, Premium, or VIP account - no
- Live Zero Fixed account - yes
Licensed by the CySEC, IronFX is a forex broker that offers a lot to its users. There are over 80 pairings to choose from, and this includes exotic, minor, and major pairing. This makes IronFX a viable destination for GBP/USD investors.
The GBP/USD leverage is 0.8 pips at a minimum. On average, however, it can reach 1.3 pips. The leverage at IronFX is impressive since the largest leverage for non-European clients is a whopping 1000:1.
IronFX also offers negative balance protection to its customers. Negative balance can occur when you lose more money in a trade than you have in your forex account, which in turn means that a bad trade will not only lead to the loss of your funds, but you will owe the broker even more money. Negative balance protection is, therefore, an important feature for a broker to provide to its clients.
Finally, IronFX features an extensive resource library that includes webinars, podcasts, educational articles regarding the ins and outs of forex trading, guide videos, and a glossary. In addition, there is also IronFX live TV, a program that focuses on trading and that is streamed on the broker’s YouTube channel.
- 5. iQ OptionMin Deposit$10Fees
CommissionsN/ASpread1 pipLeverage EU30:1 maxLeverage non-EU1000:1 maxCFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- $10 monthly fee after 90 days of inactivity
- $5 account closure fee if account verification had not been made
- $31 withdrawal fee if the trader is using bank transfer
- No deposit fees
IQ Option is a broker that offers a variety of CFD products to its users, which includes assets the likes of stocks, binary options, crypto trading, ETFs, commodities and, of course, forex. There are over 120 currency pairings available at the time of writing, and currencies, such as USD/JPY, EUR/USD, USD/CAD, and GBP/USD, are at the top.
The spread averages out at around 1 pip for the GBP/USD pair, and the leverage depends on where you are located. Those living in the EU have a 30:1 limit. If you do not reside within the EEA, however, IQ Option offers leverage up to 1000:1. The European version of this broker is licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
IQ Option features its own proprietary platform that has all the tools you would need. Charting, technical analysis and indicators, economic calendars and more are all features you can count on. As for order types, they include stop-loss and take profit, among others.
You can contact customer support 24/7, and both email and live chat are available. Calling IQ Option’s CS support team is another option.
- 6. InstaForexMin Deposit$1Fees
CommissionsN/ASpread3Leverage EU1:1Leverage non-EU
- $10 a month inactivity fee if the user is inactive for 12 months
- No deposit fees
- Withdrawal fees range from 0.5% to 3.5% depending on your withdrawal method
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71.05% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- 1:1 min
- 1000:1 max
InstaForex has numerous features. Over 100 instruments are at the disposal of investors, and there are great research tools such as an economic calendar, a news feed and analytics. A trader calculator is also available. In addition, those new to investing can start with a demo account and make use of the website’s various educational articles.
InstaForex is thorough when it comes to customer support. You can contact the website’s support staff every day whenever you wish, as it is available 24/7. In addition, there is an impressive number of support channels available for those trading on the BVIFSC platform. The classic options such as callback and live chat are an option, or you could opt for sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. InstaForex also allows its clients to contact the customer support team via Line, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Twitter, Viber and Skype. European investors also have access to some of these extra methods, namely Skype, Messenger, and Telegram, and again we have a support email to use, email@example.com. Live chat and callback are also supported.
The GBP/USD spread is typically 3 at InstaForex, and the leverage for EU clients is 1:1. Investors who do not reside within the European Union have larger leverage to work with, which ranges from 1:1 to 1000:1.
- 7. City IndexMin Deposit$100Fees
- $12 a month inactivity fee after one year of inactivity
- No deposit or withdrawal fees
Leverage EU30:1Leverage non-EU
- 0.9 minimum spread
- 1.9 pips on average
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Retail: up to 30:1
- Professional: up to 400:1
City Index is a publicly traded broker that primarily offers forex and CFD trading. It features its own proprietary trading platform, along with a desktop platform, both of which have many useful tools for investors. You can choose to enable notifications and alerts, and there are also activity reports and a history of transactions you can access easily. Order types include markets, limit, stop and trailing stop orders. Additionally, OCO, GTC, GTD and GTT are also available.
Finding necessary information regarding GBP/USD trading is also effortless, thanks to the platform’s search function. If you ever do have trouble finding anything, you can always turn to City Traders’ customer support team. It is available five days a week, and you can choose between email, phone or live chat.
You can also be certain that your financial information is in good hands. As mentioned, City Index is traded publicly, and it is regulated by various regulatory bodies, among which is the Financial Conduct Authority, as well as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The spreads are all in all reasonable, with the minimal GBP/USD spread being 0.9 pips at a minimum and averaging out at 1.9 pips. The leverage in the EU is 30:1, while those living elsewhere are subject to a 400:1 limit, provided they have a professional account.
- 8. XTBMin Deposit$0FeesDeposit
CommissionsN/ASpread1.7 min spreadLeverage EU30:1Leverage non-EU30:1CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 83% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Bank transfer and credit card deposit are free
- E-wallet deposits range from 1% to 2%.
XTB is a behemoth of a broker within Europe and the UK. It is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and is regulated by organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Polish Financial Supervision Authority among others, making XTB a safe option for forex investors.
The broker’s proprietary platform, xStation 5, is a great alternative to the familiar MetaTrader 4, which is also an option at XTB. xStation 5 features order variations such as limit, take profit, trailing stop, and the like. Charting tools as well as a useful portfolio feature are available as well. You can also receive push notifications and alerts for your positions, margin calls, and the like. Moreover, everything thus mentioned is just as easy to access on the mobile xStation 5 application, which can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store.
XTB performs well on the fees front as well. Withdrawals are free, as is depositing via bank transfer or credit card. Digital wallet deposit fees range from 1% to 2%. The minimum GBP/USD spread is 1.7 pips, and you will be looking at a leverage of 30:1.
- 9. IC MarketsMin Deposit$200FeesNo inactivity, deposit, or withdrawal fees.Commissions
- Raw Spread MetaTrader – $3.5 (min 0 pip spread)
- Raw Spread cTrader – $3 (min 0 pip spread)
- Standard – no commission (min 0.6 pip spread)
Leverage EU30:1Leverage non-EU500:1CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.93% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Raw Spread: 0 pips min, 0.23 pips average.
- Standard: 0.6 pips min, 0.83 pips average
Investors who wish to trade GBP/USD have IC Markets as one of their best options in terms of brokers. Its GBP/USD spreads are 0.6 pips at a minimum and average out at around 0.83 for investors with a standard account. Users who have Raw Spread accounts will need to pay a commission of $3 or $3.5 depending on the platform they prefer, but their spreads can reach as little as 0 pips.
If you lack experience, IC markets has ensured that you will have all the resources you need at your disposal so that you can get to know the ins and outs of forex trading. You will find numerous tutorials regarding IC market’s proprietary platform, along with many educational videos and articles that cover general forex trading. Webinars are also an option, and when you wish to practice, you can first do so on a demo account that will allow you to polish your trading skills without risking your money.
Additionally, both inexperienced and seasoned traders will, on occasion, find themselves in need of assistance. This is why customer support is a crucial aspect of an online broker, and at IC Markets, it is available around the clock, seven days a week.
- 10. RoboForexMin Deposit$10Fees
Commissions10 / mioSpread
- Deposits are free
- Look up the situation with withdrawals (trustpilot has info)
Leverage EU30:1Leverage non-EUUp to 2000:1CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71.24% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Min: 0
- Average: 0.7
Launched in 2009, RoboForex is an international broker that is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission, and its European client, RoboMarkets, is under the regulation of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. GBP/USD traders in the EU have a leverage limit of 30:1 in accordance with the restrictions imposed by ESMA, while those who trade elsewhere are limited by 2000:1 leverage at the max. In addition, the spreads are very tight and range between 0 and 0.7 for GBP/USD.
The website’s platforms are MetaTrader 4 and 5, as well as RoboForex’s in-house Web Trader and Mobile Trader platforms. The broker’s web platform is packed with features. There are 13 technical indicators, a trading history feature, one-click trading, and 8 graphic analysis tools. Analytics are also available, as are market news, and you can manage your account easily. Moreover, all of this is accessible on your smartphone device since, as we mentioned earlier, RoboTrader has its own platform on mobile as well.
Investors with limited experience will also be able to make use of RoboForex’s educational ebooks, videos, and a convenient glossary to learn all about trading the GBP/USD and the foreign exchange in general, and then they can create a demo account and practice until they feel more confident in their skills.